Michelle Obama Gets Emotional In Her Final White House Speech In her last speech at the White House, first lady Michelle Obama offers a hopeful and inclusive message to young people, including some who may feel snubbed by the incoming Trump administration.
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Michelle Obama's Emotional Farewell: 'The Power Of Hope' Has 'Allowed Us To Rise'

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Michelle Obama's Emotional Farewell: 'The Power Of Hope' Has 'Allowed Us To Rise'

Michelle Obama's Emotional Farewell: 'The Power Of Hope' Has 'Allowed Us To Rise'

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Michelle Obama offered a farewell message as she addressed the nation's young people today. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Michelle Obama spoke during a White House celebration of some of the nation's best school counselors. And in an emotional final speech as first lady, Mrs. Obama offered some counseling of her own.

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MICHELLE OBAMA: For all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you, to all of you.

HORSLEY: The first lady spoke specifically to immigrants, Muslims and the poor, people who might feel slighted by the incoming Trump administration. Our glorious diversity, she said, is not a threat to America. It makes us who we are.

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OBAMA: Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don't matter or like you don't have a place in our American story because you do.

HORSLEY: The first lady herself has felt the sting of others' low expectations. When her husband first ran for the White House eight years ago, some dismissed Michelle Obama as an angry black woman. But the first lady says with hard work and a good education, anything is possible. And she urged young people facing the inevitable obstacles not to be afraid but rather focused, determined and hopeful.

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OBAMA: It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country.

HORSLEY: The Harvard-trained lawyer's voice broke when she recalled how her own blue-collar father went to work every day, dreaming that his children would have opportunities that he never did.

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OBAMA: Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I've made you proud.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thank you, you guys.

HORSLEY: As her audience in the east room stood and cheered, Obama promised she'll be working to support young people long after she and her husband leave the White House. Scott Horsley, NPR News.

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